Proxies are an integral part of modern-day business. They have different use cases, from marketing to sales, business development, etc. The sheer importance proxies now have on the digital infrastructures of businesses makes it ridiculous not to test them.
The performance of any proxy you use greatly influences the efficiency of your website and other digital efforts. Hence, we’ll look at what proxy testing is. We’d also consider how to test proxies and why you should.
Why is it Important to Test Proxies?
Proxy testing is the process of confirming the availability of a proxy server and the anonymity level it offers. This process is essential for enterprises, especially when you need to be strictly anonymous or scrape data. Here are more specific reasons to test proxies before use.
Perfect functioning and uptime
When performing activities that need your IP address protected every time, you don’t want your proxy address to disconnect midway through the process. Your stealth operations can be compromised if your proxy isn’t covering your IP as it should.
Hence, it’s important to ensure the proxy is working perfectly. If it doesn’t, your connection will be truncated, or your anonymity could be broken. For instance, in web scraping, the scraper works autonomously so that you won’t be keeping active eyes on it. If something goes wrong while the scraper is running automatically, your identity may be compromised before you know it.
You don’t want your competitors to find out you’re scraping their platform, do you?
You should also check the compatibility of the proxy before use. Some proxies can’t work with some software. Hence, you must check the compatibility of the two. Paying for a proxy that’s at disparity with your scraping software is a loss.
Proxy servers are designed to change users’ location (by supplying a new IP address). So, if you want to access content in Bulgaria, you must use a proxy server with Bulgarian IPs in its pool. You should test how efficient and effective the proxy also is in the location it claims to work in.
A good proxy server can improve the performance and speed of your web surf. Hence, you should test the proxy to know if it improves the required task’s speed. This is critical if you’ll use the proxy for web scraping. The proxy should be able to support efficient and speedy data collection before the IP addresses are flagged and blocked.
Economical Ways to Test Proxies
There are two ways you can go about proxy testing. You can either test manually or with a proxy tester. Let’s look at how to test proxies via both categories.
Testing without a proxy tester
Here are ways you can test your proxy without using a proxy checker.
Using an IP checker
Proxies work primarily by changing the IP address of your computer when you’re requesting a website. Knowing this, you can test the functionality of the proxy by checking if your IP address changes. You can use a free IP checker for this. For this to be effective, you should know your original IP address.
Using an IP database
IP databases are collections of IP addresses and the information tied to them. With an IP database, you can find out the location of an IP, the organization it belongs to, and more. IP databases can reveal whether an IP address is blacklisted or not.
Testing with a proxy tester
The internet is full of applications that’d help you test proxies. Here are some of the most popular and economic ones
This application comes with several features, including a proxy checker. With InfobyIP, you can check proxies on HTTP and SOCKS5 protocols. You can also use the checker to determine the anonymity level your proxy server offers. Other details you can get are functionality and performance.
Hide My Name
You probably need to compare several of them to choose a proxy server. Instead of testing each proxy individually, you can use Hide My Name to check through simultaneously. The tool can check up to 500 proxies at once with its algorithm.
When done, a table shows results from the following categories: type, speed, country, connection time, and anonymity level. The downside to Hide My Name is that it doesn’t check for the level of anonymity.
Proxy verified was developed by Yahoo and is available online. So you don’t have to install any applications. Visit the website, and start testing. Though, its online-only availability means it can only test HTTP proxies. Other than this, you can be sure of its testing efficiency.
Furthermore, unlike other proxies, Proxy Verified checks for both to and fro traffic. It can also check numerous proxies at once.
There are numerous proxy checkers out there, each being vital to the performance of your proxy setup. None of them is perfect, so you need to know your needs and find the one that meets them. It’s time to try out how to test proxies with any of the aforementioned. For more information, Oxylabs wrote a blog post on the topic.